Thursday, July 16, 2015

Closing Time ...

This Age of Sigmar thing is really, really interesting to follow. I can't think of another time where a AAA game system has plunged itself into it's own End Times and then reinvented itself (for better or worse). Like it or hate it, you have to recognize this as major event in our collective wargaming hobby.

Now, I'm the least qualified person to actually speak with any authority on the world of Warhammer. I know exactly jack shit about the history and fluff, other than enough to name the various factions. I had a Vampire Counts army back in '03, but gave it up shortly thereafter for a more rewarding experience playing Confrontation 3.0 and it's brilliant Dogs of War narrative/semi-RPG campaign system (to this day, I believe it remains the best in the genre).

But something about the boldness of this shift was intriguing. When the internets exploded with rage and love (but mostly rage) over the new Age of Sigmar release, there were a few sore points with veteran players, chief among them that this new set of rules replaces Warhammer 8th Edition (something I still don't think is exactly true). There were also some 'interesting' rules like one about dancing while rolling a die to get re-rolls on misses or some such madness. Basically, the noise I was getting (and there was s shit ton of noise) was basically that this new game was too simple, it's stupid, and how could they replace the time-honored WHFB with this tripe?

Well, not all the noise is negative. There's a ground swell of support for the system among the 40k crowd. Interestingly AoS after-action reports looks more like a 40k game than an old-school WHFB game with loose formations as opposed to rank-and-file. The rules have been streamlined into something vaguely more familiar to a 40k player (and dare I say, a FoW player such as myself). So it's a big change for traditional Warhammer players to swallow.

Or is it?

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

How to Hate a Game, Properly

"Hate" is a strong word. It's got a lot of polarizing connotations associated with it, but the truth is that you are (sometimes) allowed to just not like something so much that no other word would suffice, like with raisins and grocer's apostrophes. But I don't believe for a second that there's ever a legitimate reason to use that word in the context of wargaming due to the nature of being a totally voluntary activity. If you're driven to hate, then you should probably stop wargaming.

This week in the wargaming world, there's certainly been a lot of "hate" being thrown around due to the release of the Age of Sigmar (AoS) ruleset for Warhammer (Fantasy) from Games Workshop. Now, if you're looking for my opinion on this ruleset, you're going to be sorely disappointed no matter what AoS camp you're in because I don't have one. So where is this going? Well I thought this as good a time as any to actually talk about why it's OK to not like a game and how I go about trying to be respectful when expressing it to others.